Main Parts Required
BMW E38 Complete Navigation Retrofit Kit
Optional Trunk Panel Cover (opt) 51 47 8 186 699 $175 - THIS PART IS OPTIONAL as you can cut out the trim ring in your existing trim panel
Step 1) You can test out the navigation system parts simply by removing the radio in the front of the car and connecting the wiring harness to the radio module plug. Then connect the ground connector on the wiring harness and attach your navigation parts to the wiring harness, and plug the navigation retrofit harness into the display, radio and navigation computer In the picture below, I hooked a TV video module up to drive the nav display. I had mine working in the trunk in less than 10 minutes. Super easy. Just plug up the parts and plug into the car with the radio plug (see next image)
The Main radio harness connects to the dash mount radio and runs the length of the car. The retrofit harness BMW sells is for cars with or without the DSP audio system and is a much easier installation than the older navigation retrofit harnesses
Run the wires the length of the car under the Left hand side trim panels and under the Left Front seat and into the center console
Using this path I was easily able to get the harness up front with plenty of slack
With the x5 harness I ended up with Lot's of extra slack
Once the New frame is in place, you are almost done up front
Now that the work inside the cabin is complete, the rest of the work is pretty basic stuff
Mounting the GPS antenna is easy. Just pass the GPS antenna wire through the wiring passageway and catch on the other side. You can then just lift up the rear vent grate and mount the GPS antenna in the proper location, and connect to the wiring. I used this extra (purple) wire to pull the necessary wires into the c-pillar and the back deck to mount the GPS antenna.
The trunk area is easy. Just mount the trunk radio first, then the DSP amp, the nav computer and the CD changer using the new and old brackets and connect all of the components up. I used a dremel tool to cut out the old trunk liner instead of buying a new one. It took me a number of times to get it perfect, but in the end it worked just fine. Remember, cut smaller than needed as you can always cut more later after you re-measure. It is always easier to cut a little more than put it back on if you cut too much.
According to the BMW instructions the last step is to have the car recoded at the dealer. First you will have to use the MODIC to do a "retrofit" for nav, then you will need them to code the DSP amp
BMW specifically says that you must code the retrofit vehicle for everything to work correctly. I have heard of some people who have not coded their cars, but not sure if they work perfectly or not. Coding seems it may be required in cars that have the DSP audio system only however your car may require coding and you should plan on requiring the car to be coded if the audio does not function properly. We have typically found that the new retrofit wiring harness we now ship with all new retrofit kits does not typically require coding. However it is still possible your car may require coding. See BMW info on coding for a retrofit vehicle